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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Hello all. :) How are you today?
This week was...different. I have a new companion, Elder Acosta from Perú, and he's way cool. He's been out 19 months, so he knows a ton. He pretty much teaches circles around me. But I'm not here to compare, sino que to learn. Saying "sino que" made more sense to me than saying "but" so I did. The Spanish is coming really well. I had kind of a funny experience the other day. We were talking with hermana Gladys, one of our recent converts, and while she was talking, I suddenly thought, "She's speaking Spanish. I'm understanding her. When did this happen??" Haha... Kinda weird, but cool. :) I have truly been blessed with the gift of tongues. Yeah, we went to Ecuador 6 weeks, and I studied 3 years in High School, but there are gringos here with more experience than that, plus half their mission here that still sound gringo. I'm not going to say I sound native, but the gift of tongues could refer to the accent, couldn't it? Every now and again, people tell me I don't sound gringo. One lady asked me if I was from Spain. I almost told her yes. ;) Anyway, I really do believe I have been blessed with the gift of tongues, and I am ever so grateful. It's wonderful to be able to communicate. My companion speaks English pretty well. Not...fluent, but he understands most things. :) It's fun speaking English again.
We haven't had much success this week. At least...not that we can see. We're short on investigators. As in...we don't have any. That's not true. We did start teaching one family last week, and they look like they might progress. Nubia and Alvaro. The only problem is the same problem that everyone here has. They're not married. "Unión libre" is an epidemic here. The difference with this couple is that they both want to get married. But Nubia hasn't divorced her old husband, so there are some complications there. Elder Acosta always says, "Hay que tener fe." You gotta have faith. I do have faith. I sincerely hope that we can get them married so they can be baptized. There's a notary here that they call the Mormon notary. Almost all of the people that work there are members. So, if someone needs to get married we have an in, and can help them out. The only thing we can't help them with is the money. Anyway, Hay que tener fe.
I'm pretty sure I've sweated off 5 kilos this week. Then again, we eat about that much every day. Yesterday, we went to a neighborhood called Belencito, or Little Bethlehem. It's basically at the top of a mountain. The interesting thing about the classes here is that the rich people all live in the valley, and the really poor people live up on the bench. The higher up you go, the humbler it is. Anyway, we went to visit a less active sister por allí. (This was about 2 hours after lunch...) This sister usually gives us food, but I wasn't expecting what she gave us. It was another lunch! But bigger than the first one. A plate full of rice, chicken, patacones (double deep-fried plantains. Yum.) and a whole plate of fruit salad. Then there was the jar (it was actually a beer mug, but she doesn't use it for that.) of gaseosa. Uh...soda. Carbonated beverage. Whatever. I ate all of mine, and my companion was struggling. He doesn't have a big gringo stomach like me... So I helped him out with half his salad and a patacón, and gave him some of my soda. It worked out, but wow. Lots of food. Lots and lots. We don't do enough walking for that amount of food. Haha.
I'm sorry, I don't have pictures today. I forgot my adapter. I'll have to send them next week. I hope you're all enjoying Utah weather. I'm trying not to complain about the heat, because this last transfer, they sent a gringo to Barranca, and if you ask anyone around here, they all say it's an infierno. Super-caliente! So I'm just chillin here. Aguantando. And being grateful that I'm not in Barranca.
This morning, I read 2 Nephi 3. It's a very personal chapter for me. It says my name 11 times. Heh. Actually, I really love it because it talks about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. Verses 12 and 15 are some of my favorites. I remember someone in the MTC telling us that the first word spoked by Heavenly Father in this despensation was "Joseph." God knows and loves each and every one of us. It's difficult at times to develop a personal relationship with God. I feel at times like He's so far away. But then I remember the primary song that says "but I feel Him close beside me as I pray." Or...something. Prayer is really the best way for us to grow close to our Father in Heaven. We need to be faithful in our prayers and communicate openly with our Father in Heaven. Then we will truly be able to feel Him close beside us.
Well, I hope everything is well in Utah. And if you're not in Utah, I hope everything is well, wherever you are. Go to church. Pray often. Study your scriptures daily, and Heavenly Father will bless you in ways you can't imagine. It really is amazing how much He gives us for doing so little. Such a blessing, eh? :)
I love you all. Until next week,
P.S. Would someone please listen to Lex de Azevedo's "If you could Hie to Kolob" for me? Sure appreciate ya. :)
P.P.S. How many legs does a fish have? And how many wings on a cow? I wonder, yup. I wonder.